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Canon S95 for digiscoping

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Old Saturday 22nd January 2011, 03:17   #26
Josef
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I havn't been around for a while but sure enjoyed catching up, you guys are really coming on with some great pics. Just a couple words about my adapter: When I go into the field I don't like to fiddle so I go out of the way to make an adapter I enjoy. Delrin tube which rotates with the front Ring, it rotates on a large snap ring which is part of the steel armature connecting it to the camera tripod connection, in the back of the 95 is an extendaview also made of delrin and connected to the same armature, it pivots so can be out of way when needed. Camera release cable attaches to a ring from hardware store. Complete adapter is very light and battery easily replaced, likewise downloading port accessible. Excluding extendaview and including milling tube about US $60. I really like this camera so I went out of my way.
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Old Saturday 22nd January 2011, 10:32   #27
SteveClifton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josef View Post
I havn't been around for a while but sure enjoyed catching up, you guys are really coming on with some great pics. Just a couple words about my adapter: When I go into the field I don't like to fiddle so I go out of the way to make an adapter I enjoy. Delrin tube which rotates with the front Ring, it rotates on a large snap ring which is part of the steel armature connecting it to the camera tripod connection, in the back of the 95 is an extendaview also made of delrin and connected to the same armature, it pivots so can be out of way when needed. Camera release cable attaches to a ring from hardware store. Complete adapter is very light and battery easily replaced, likewise downloading port accessible. Excluding extendaview and including milling tube about US $60. I really like this camera so I went out of my way.
Josef, that's a fine piece of bespoke engineering that Heath Robinson would be proud of! I especially like the bracket for the cable release-very ingenious!

When you go into production put me at the top of your order list

My own adapter, linked to in post 4, was recently referred to as a 'contraption' by another UK birder, but if it works, who cares?

In true 'you show me yours and I'll show you mine style', I'll post some pics of my new one in the next day or two. No cable release bracket though, as yet...

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Old Saturday 22nd January 2011, 13:55   #28
SteveClifton
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Here's mine, with annotations showing how to connect it all up, and a few minor modifications.

The Jackar adapter comes with some of the metal components coated in a thin rubber. This makes it impossible to tighten everything sufficiently to eliminate movement, hence the need for a few changes. The rubber is attached with double-sided tape so is quite easy to remove.

Once done everything is much more taught with less risk that 'slippage' could happen (if it did, possible damage to the camera lens could result when extended inside the adapter tube, as clearance is only about 1mm between the adapter tube and the camera's inner lens barrel ).
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Old Saturday 22nd January 2011, 14:13   #29
SteveClifton
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Jackar adapter is also available from ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.ie/NEW-Ver-Universal...item563f8355ee

Mine came from here though:

http://www.digitaltoyshop.co.uk/Univ...S95_t2218_5847

Last edited by SteveClifton : Saturday 22nd January 2011 at 15:42.
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Old Monday 24th January 2011, 22:47   #30
Neil
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[quote=SteveClifton;2039380]Jackar adapter is also available from ebay:


Steve,
I see it's available from Hong Kong. I'm going over to Mongkok for dim sum lunch today so I'll look around for this. I need an adapter for the Panasonic FX68 but I'll I want to get the S95 so I'll pick up the adapter for it too.
I like your mods.
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Old Tuesday 25th January 2011, 04:13   #31
Josef
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Steve,

I was wondering if you have a way of controling the distance between camera and EP.

When I made my sony adapter I found I was getting sharp pics above the 2x camera setting but not at 1x. I ended up using a spacer ring (about 6mm thick) which I would remove below 2x. Camera was a sony w300 and EP Kowa 21 WE.

When I made the s95 adapter (#26 above) I spent a couple days taking pics before building and found the spacer distance to be down to about 3mm. When using the canon I set the front ring to zoom function and rotating the delrin tube also adjusts the camera to EP distance (mechanism not shown in my pic which was taken before finished).

My testing indicated with the closest distance being 1 mm at 105mm, out to 12mm at 50mm and then back to 9mm at 35mm. When you consider the mechanical movement of the lens it actually results in the camera moving about 3mm to get best results.

Joe
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Old Tuesday 25th January 2011, 17:57   #32
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Originally Posted by Josef View Post
Steve,

I was wondering if you have a way of controling the distance between camera and EP.

When I made my sony adapter I found I was getting sharp pics above the 2x camera setting but not at 1x. I ended up using a spacer ring (about 6mm thick) which I would remove below 2x. Camera was a sony w300 and EP Kowa 21 WE.

When I made the s95 adapter (#26 above) I spent a couple days taking pics before building and found the spacer distance to be down to about 3mm. When using the canon I set the front ring to zoom function and rotating the delrin tube also adjusts the camera to EP distance (mechanism not shown in my pic which was taken before finished).

My testing indicated with the closest distance being 1 mm at 105mm, out to 12mm at 50mm and then back to 9mm at 35mm. When you consider the mechanical movement of the lens it actually results in the camera moving about 3mm to get best results.

Joe
There are at least two ways to do this:

1. Unscrew the 'zoom ring' or 'barrel' that screws directly to the DCA, though unscrewing it too far could result in insufficient threads connecting to the inner part, and increased risk of it coming apart/falling off.

2. The outer sleeve of the DCA can be locked in place a couple of mm up from the lowest position, though again, there is a risk of this coming apart from the inner sleeve.

A third way could involve setting the camera back a little way on the 'foot' of the adapter, but this wouldn't work too well I feel, as pushing it up tight against the adapter keeps the lens square to the eyepiece.

So far I haven't noticed that sharpness is affected by the amount of camera zoom, but perhaps this is because I find I am usually above half way out in order to reduce vignetting. Perhaps if I try the camera with my 30x wide at a lower camera zoom level, this might become an issue. Thanks for the heads up.

Couple from the weekend:

Knot from a RAW file, using Paul's technique (Layer & Blur/Eraser) to soften background ISO 320 1/160 sec

Robin from jpeg (shame about the Blackbird!) ISO 640 1/100 sec
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Last edited by SteveClifton : Tuesday 25th January 2011 at 20:52.
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Old Wednesday 26th January 2011, 19:24   #33
Roger Boswell
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Great to see digiscoping with an S95.

I have been trying for ages to get a camera to go with my Opticron HR80 scope and zoom eyepiece. Have just tried an SX210 I bought my wife - holding the camera to the eyepiece (with eyecup down) in very dull and blustery conditions I got the attached images. The exposures were 1/250 at f4.4 (on auto) with ISO 200. For such a simple set up I think they are quite passable. I was a little worried that having an f2 lens might be a problem to the S95 - are there any? I am really interested in the RAW format and low noise at high ISO of the S95.
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Old Wednesday 26th January 2011, 19:57   #34
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Roger, these are more than passable, and considering they were taken with a camera with 14x zoom lens, quite surprising too! The received wisdom is that anything much above 4x will vignette excessively. Obviously this is not the case here.

As for the F2 lens, Smithhill (post 7 of this thread) said that there is little benefit as the aperture is limited by the scope. To be honest, his explanation went over my head somewhat, and in theory he may well be correct, but in practice through the scope I get faster shutter speeds when opening the shutter on the S95 from f2.8 to f2. This tells me that in practice the f2 lens is a benefit.

Perhaps I don't understand fully the physics involved here, but I can't really see a downside to an f2 lens, even if there is no real theoretical advantage! The f2 lens is certainly an advantage for non-digiscoping use.

Personally I would thoroughly recommend the S95 for digiscoping and 'other' uses. The biggest downside so far is battery life, but as Energizer equivalents are available from 7dayshop.com for £4.99, this isn't such a big problem.
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Old Thursday 27th January 2011, 18:44   #35
Roger Boswell
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Yes it does have a 14x zoom but was probably not set to much more than 3x.
I just held the camera to the eyepiece and zoomed out until I was getting a complete image. The scope was set to minimum magnification which is 54x with the HR80. I didn't have too much time to experiment - it was freezing cold in the wind at Dawlish Warren yesterday!

Here are a couple of untouched images - just reduced to 700 pixels from the 4320 original (horizontal).

Image 1 taken without the scope with max optical zoom of 14x
Image 2 nearly the same image taken through the scope.

Noise at ISO 200 is quite noticeable; I would hope that with RAW images the S95 would be better.
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Old Saturday 29th January 2011, 21:58   #36
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S95 works great!

Hi all....I'm new around here, but going to chime in this thread. I am having fantastic success with the S95 and my Zeiss 85. I made an adapter from a plumbing part to allow me to quickly set the camera against the eyepiece. I also have set the C (on the dial) for digiscoping settings. Very, very pleased. Note that I am using the discontinued 23/30 eyepiece, which is heads over tails better than the 20-60x.
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Old Sunday 30th January 2011, 18:15   #37
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Needsnow, nice pic and excellent equipment choices. Also going to a fixed eyepiece is good, beginners often go for the 20-60 which IMO complicates things and when you consider the camera power is most often not needed.

I typically use "C" Av, Continuous shoot, center weighted, Raw, iso100-400, detail fine, Macro close, and IS off. Also important is a cable release and even more important is to have fun.
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Old Sunday 30th January 2011, 22:32   #38
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Hi Josef....a few more settings that I've used.....change your screen to show the histogram when shooting. I've found that the scope underexposes sometimes. Also, change the camera shot review to show detail. It magnifies an area so you can instantly get feedback on if your shot is in sharp focus. One last thing I do is set my front zoom ring to step focus. Then I can easily change the focus with my left hand while I am handholding the camera to the scope and all my right hand has to do is the shutter realease. For people that are new to the camera, you can set up all of these things and then go to your menu and save them and then they will automatically be saved to the C button on the wheel. This is especially nice, if for example, you want to start your camera and instantly have it at 50mm.....it remembers that you like it that way!
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Old Friday 4th February 2011, 19:31   #39
Roger Boswell
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With all the enthusiastic postings for using the S95 with a scope (and my own success using my wife's SX210 hand-held to a scope) I just had to get one!
Spent an evening printing off pages from the manual and trying to work out which bits are really needed! - cameras were never this complicated.

By the time the battery had charged so that I could turn it on it was dark, so all I could do was point it out of a window and take a night shot. Quite surprising result at ISO 3200 .....

Although I have a sleeve that fits my Opticron eyepiece I will have to await delivery of the universal adapter - as mentioned in this thread - before I can really do some trials. However, I took the camera out with me yesterday and could not resist a trial digisbinning .... holding the camera to the eyepiece of my bins; all handheld with no support. I was quite surprised at the results. Both images are full frames reduced to 700 x 525 pixels, the first a 28mm equivalent image then one taken through the bins. Amazingly you can see what birds are on the beach (and count them) even though you can hardly locate the beach in the 28mm shot!

Next problem I have is an out-of-date Elements 7, that cannot deal with S95 RAW images, so I had to use the Canon DPP software which I do not find particularly good. So it looks as if I will now have to upgrade to Elements 9.

Thanks to everyone on this thread for all the very useful information that you have given.


I have just used Google Earth to find out how far the Oystercatchers were - just over 0.4Km
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Old Friday 4th February 2011, 22:00   #40
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Hi Roger, they look good for digibinning. I found that the S95 works well through my bins too, and the extended lens fits very snugly into the eyepieces of my Nikon HGs, meaning less risk of scratching the glass than my old camera which has a smaller diameter lens.

For anyone setting up their S95 from new, particularly with digiscoping in mind, here are my current settings, which I use most of the time. I’ve annotated them with notes on changes that I might need to make depending on conditions/light etc.
Some settings are probably of no relevance for digiscoping (e.g. AF-assist Beam, so just ignore)

These are all set up in the C-menu (custom) on the mode dial on top of the camera. For more general shooting (not digiscoping) I’m usually in AV-mode (aperture priority). You can save settings here too!

Remember to keep re-saving these settings once set up, as the camera will revert back to settings from the last time the camera was switched on if you forget. Also, keep changing and re-saving them during a shoot if the light changes and you need to make changes to ISO, lens zoom etc.
To save settings, click on the Menu button, then in the camera icon menu (left menu), go to the bottom (quicker to click 'up' once) then use the FUNC SET button to save.

Camera Icon Menu (press Menu button once to access, then scroll up or down using the rear wheel)

AF frame: centre
AF Frame size: Normal
Digital Zoom: off (usually)
AF-point Zoom: On (* see below)
Servo AF: Off (might be useful for moving birds such as swimming ducks?)
AF-assist Beam: On (makes no difference for digiscoping?)
MF-point Zoom: On (works like AF-point zoom, but in manual focus mode. See asterisk below)
Safety MF: On (haven’t explored this yet)
Safety Shift: Off (from what I’ve read this might be useful, as I think it over-rides the aperture setting selected if for e.g. light is low and shutter speeds are too low to prevent blur. I presume it then opens the aperture from e.g F4 to F2.8)
IS Mode: Continuous (seems to be some benefit using IS even on a tripod in breezy conditions, though the jury is still out on its real usefulness for digiscoping)

*This is a brilliant feature. Just discovered it! If you half-press the shutter button and hold it down, the central area of the screen is magnified, allowing fine-tuning of the focus before pressing down fully. This is especially good when photographing birds that are partly obscured by branches/grass etc , or birds in a flock where you want a particular bird in focus. When the AF locks onto something else in front of/behind the target/bird you can fine-tune the focus using the scope’s focus before pressing the shutter fully. The enlarged centre of frame makes it easier to check focus

Tools Menu: Access by pressing Menu button, then clicking right on rear control wheel. Can’t see much here that would have much bearing on digiscoping

‘FUNC SET’ Menu (press button in centre of rear dial to right of screen)

DR Correction: Off so far, though might be worth exploring in challenging light such as backlit birds?
ISO 400 (as default, but higher or lower depending on available light. Up to ISO 640-800 is very useable, haven’t gone above that so far)
White Balance: AWB usually, though again, have altered this to other settings such as ‘Custom’ and even ‘Tungsten!’ for outdoors-basically whatever looks best to your eyes. Only for JPEGs though & won’t affect RAW.
My Colours: Off (better to alter in post processing)
BKT (bracketing): Off (so far not tried)
Continuous Shooting: (usually) You can shoot over 20 JPEG&RAW shots at the rate of about 2 per second in sequence, using a fast SDHC card, before the buffer starts to jam up. This happens quicker using a slower card (after perhaps 6 frames or so, which is better than many DSLRs)
Metering: either Evaluative or Centre Weighted Avg for close birds. For more distant birds Spot Metering could be useful
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 though this is personal
Quality: L (or RAW, or both) Pressing the DISP button after selecting these options allows you to tiggle between FINE and NORMAL quality

Other Useful changes that will need to be altered frequently can be accessed by pressing either the top, bottom, left or right side of the Large Control Wheel that surrounds the FUNC SET button.

LEFT: toggles between Normal AF, MF and Macro (I use Normal mostly)
RIGHT: controls flash functions. I always have this Off
TOP: toggles between aperture (F number) and EV Step-this allows you to adjust aperture in smaller 1/3 stop increments
BOTTOM: controls the self timer. You can adjust the duration of the timer using the front lens ring (0-30 sec) and the number of shots taken each time (1-10 burst, at about 2 frames/sec) using left/right on the control wheel

Another useful feature is that you can switch the camera on to view images by pressing and holding the review button (arrow inside rectangle), and therefore bypass the on/off switch and thus avoid extending the lens unnecessarily.

Last edited by SteveClifton : Friday 4th February 2011 at 23:53.
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Old Saturday 5th February 2011, 20:15   #41
Josef
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Steve,

Great idea posting your typical settings, settings on a new camera can be difficult and your approach here should help. Also hashing it back and forth should help our understanding.

The only exception I'd make with yours is the AF-assist beam which I turned off figuring it might impart wrong info to the camera which was not designed to be plugged onto a scope.

Other preferences I have is AF frame size set to small and with the wheel in back I toggle to Macro (testing here showed a very minimal improvement).

The IS Mode can be frustrating. What I was told is the sensing was designed for human movement and when on a tripod can actually induce a correction causing blurr therfore I keep it off. Any other comments would be appreciated.

Joe
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Old Saturday 5th February 2011, 21:28   #42
SteveClifton
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Steve,

Great idea posting your typical settings, settings on a new camera can be difficult and your approach here should help. Also hashing it back and forth should help our understanding.

The only exception I'd make with yours is the AF-assist beam which I turned off figuring it might impart wrong info to the camera which was not designed to be plugged onto a scope.

Other preferences I have is AF frame size set to small and with the wheel in back I toggle to Macro (testing here showed a very minimal improvement).

The IS Mode can be frustrating. What I was told is the sensing was designed for human movement and when on a tripod can actually induce a correction causing blurr therfore I keep it off. Any other comments would be appreciated.

Joe
Josef, thanks for your comments.

I agree, the AF-Assist beam should probably be off, just haven't got round to it yet.

I tried the AF frame size today for semi-macro work, and found the smaller frame helped locking onto a small object at close to minimum focus distance. I'm not sure how that will help for digiscoping? Perhaps for distant birds, or those in cluttered backgrounds it will?

I agree IS should be off for the reasons given, with the exception that in windy conditions when the scope is being vibrated a lot, it might just help.

ATB

Steve
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Old Sunday 13th February 2011, 20:31   #43
JonC
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Canon S95 remote shutter ?

Does anyone know if it's possible to obtain a remote shutter release for this camera ? I know they are available for Canon's range of DSLRs, but I've not seen them for compact cameras.

Thanks in advance.

Jon
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Old Sunday 13th February 2011, 20:33   #44
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Hi,

Having just put my Canon S95 to field test today, I thought about sharing my experience and sharing also some samples.

Setup
Pictures were taken with Nikon ED82A and DS30X eyepiece. Conditions were chilly, below freezing point (meaning gloves) and quite windy (10 m/s). Morning started with sun and then overcast.

Camera operation
The camera is neat and nice to operate. Fast startup time, display is clear and highly visible. Even with gloves on, buttons can be operated with reasonable tactile accurracy.

Battery lifetime
I took about 200+ pictures (in quite cold conditions) and the meter showed half charged at the end of the session.

Vignetting
Some vignetting occurs at focal length 6 mm (28 mm equivalent).

Decreased peripheral illumination is noticeable at all focal lengths. The software (Canon Digital Photo Professional) however has a feature that is really useful and allows to compensate for this.

Sample pictures
All pictures were taken in RAW, using default settings (except for exposure compensation), auto WB, auto ISO, evaluative light metering, Image Stabilizer on (maybe I should have turned IS off, not sure about what is right in windy conditions?)

In Digital Photo Professional I applied the following settings:
RGB Tone curve assist
Lens aberration correction: Peripheral illumination
Lastly, some cropping before saving to JPEG

All pictures were shot att about 50 meters distance. Please let me know what you think of the quality and what I could do to improve it.

Eurasian Wigeon (both male and female overcast)
FL 22.5 mm
Av 4.9
Tv 1/125
ISO 100 (I should probably have increased)
EV +2/3



Eurasian Wigeon, male, sunny
FL 15.0 mm
Av 4.0
Tv 1/1000
ISO 160

Cormorant
FL 18.2 mm
Av 4.5
Tv 1/200
ISO 80

Canada Goose
FL 12.8 mm
Av 4.0
Tv 1/400
ISO 80
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Old Sunday 13th February 2011, 23:00   #45
oggbad
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Does anyone know if it's possible to obtain a remote shutter release for this camera ? I know they are available for Canon's range of DSLRs, but I've not seen them for compact cameras.

Thanks in advance.

Jon
Jon
There is an adaptor which Josef posted a picture of at the top of this page. There is a website where you can buy these cable releases which someone posted hereabouts but I can't find it at the moment.

Try here http://www.srb-griturn.com/index.asp...YCAT&catid=246
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Old Monday 14th February 2011, 09:07   #46
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Does anyone know if it's possible to obtain a remote shutter release for this camera ? (...)
The unaltered S95 does not support electrical cable releases. But if you load CHDK you can probably use a Ricoh remote release via the USB socket: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/S95
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Old Monday 14th February 2011, 09:11   #47
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Originally Posted by Tord View Post
Hi,
Having just put my Canon S95 to field test today (...)
Pictures were taken with Nikon ED82A and DS30X eyepiece. (...)
Hi Tord,
remarkable good results for a "first field test"! Could you please tell me what kind of adapter you used? Thanks!
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Old Monday 14th February 2011, 10:51   #48
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Originally Posted by forent View Post
Hi Tord,
remarkable good results for a "first field test"! Could you please tell me what kind of adapter you used? Thanks!
Hi

Hi,

I use a William Optics generic adapter with my ED82A/DS30X eyepiece.

http://www.astroshop.de/digi-klemmen...e69cf3b343e060

Unfortunately it does not have a hinge + snap-lock mechanism that supports swinging the camera away from the eyepiece. I tried to adjust focus through the display but that worked not so well, and had to resort to mounting and unmounting the camera many times, and relying on the motif still in focal point, which was not always the case, meaning low yield...

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Old Tuesday 15th February 2011, 11:44   #49
forent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tord View Post
(...) I use a William Optics generic adapter with my ED82A/DS30X eyepiece. (...)
Unfortunately it does not have a hinge + snap-lock mechanism that supports swinging the camera away from the eyepiece. I tried to adjust focus through the display but that worked not so well, and had to resort to mounting and unmounting the camera many times, and relying on the motif still in focal point, which was not always the case, meaning low yield... (...)
Thanks for your answer!
Oh well. Twiddling with the adapter that way is what I want to avoid. I think I will try to make my DIY attachment on basis of some Nikon FSA and F-CP rings I have bought dirt cheap on eBay.
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Old Sunday 20th February 2011, 15:59   #50
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Thanks for this advice - I've been able to set most of them on my S90 but I wonder have you found a way to save the 'FUNC SET' settings? - I can't see one ....
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